You may have driven past car accident scenes in the past and wondered what happened to the victims. Now that you have been in an accident yourself, you may be starting to realize that surviving the crash and being released from the hospital are just the beginning of the journey toward recovery. You may have been told that you will need surgery or physical therapy, and the doctor may still not have cleared you to go back to work. You may be struggling with your emotions and worried about paying the bills.
A Decatur car accident lawyer is an advocate who can help you. Our lawyers’ only goal is to help accident victims get the money they need from the insurance company. We don’t ask you to pay us a thing if we don’t get you money. We’d like to offer you a free consultation. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
Will insurance pay for my accident?
Insurance companies in Georgia pay for accidents based on who is at fault. When a driver causes an accident because of careless behavior, they are legally “at fault” and their insurance company must pay for the accident. This means that if the accident wasn’t your fault, insurance will pay for your medical expenses, repairs to your car, and other types of losses.
This simple rule gets more complicated when an accident is caused by more than one driver – especially if the insurance company says you are one of the drivers at fault. When this happens, the insurance company allocates a percentage of the fault to each driver. As long as you are less than 50 percent at fault, the driver who is more at fault is legally responsible for your losses. But you will receive less money because you were partly to blame.
For example, suppose Driver A ran a red light. You were passing through the intersection on a green light, but you were also texting your friend and didn’t see Driver A in time to avoid the accident. In this case, Driver A was at fault for running a red light, but you were also at fault for distracted driving. If Driver A was 70 percent at fault and you were 30 percent at fault, then you would only be able to recover 70 percent of your costs.
What will a car accident claim pay for?
The law allows you to recover two kinds of money after a car accident: general damages and special damages. Special damages make up for the direct financial consequences of the accident, and you can recover 100% of these costs. They include:
- Your medical treatment, including prescriptions and physical therapy
- Mental health treatment, if you also had physical injuries
- The pay you missed out on if the accident has caused you to be out of work
- The damage to your car
General damages are aimed at the way your accident has affected your everyday life. An accident can leave you with chronic pain or unattractive scars. It can keep you from doing things you’d like to do, like driving, taking care of your kids, or participating in sports or hobbies. These kinds of losses may not cost you money directly, but they feel very real, and the law allows you to recover money for them. Insurance companies usually calculate general damages by looking at the amount of your special damages and the severity of your accident.
It is important to understand, however, that the insurance company will probably underestimate the true cost of your accident. Insurance companies know they can earn a bigger profit if they don’t pay out as much in claims. Car accident attorneys near Atlanta Georgia have years of experience persuading the insurance companies that their original offers are too low, and convincing them to treat accident victims fairly. Talking to a lawyer is an important step in protecting your rights after an accident.
What if the other driver didn’t have insurance?
All car owners in Georgia are supposed to have auto insurance, but that doesn’t mean everyone follows the rules. In addition, many people try to save money on insurance premiums by signing up for the minimum amount of coverage required by law. If a driver has the minimum coverage, their insurance will only pay up to $25,000 for personal injuries and up to $25,000 for property damage. But serious accidents can cost far more than these minimum amounts. When a driver doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for the accident, we say they are “under-insured.”
One way to get money if the driver who was at fault was uninsured or underinsured is to make a claim on your own insurance policy. Under-insured and uninsured motorist coverage is available in Georgia, but it is not required – so you may or may not have this type of coverage on your auto insurance policy.
Other options include:
- Filing a lawsuit and asking the court to order the other driver to pay you out of his or her own pocket
- Filing a lien against the other driver’s house or other assets
- Investigating whether there may be other parties who are responsible
- Searching for any other insurance policies that might apply.
These strategies are more complicated than just filing an insurance claim, so it is important to have a lawyer helping you if the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the cost.
Talk to a Decatur Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our lawyers have spent decades building a reputation as one of the top personal injury firms in Georgia. We’ll talk to you for free, and we won’t ever ask you to pay us unless we get you money. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your FREE consultation today.